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Building a Website: To Buy or DIY

March 15, 2023
autism learning centre website

Nowadays, having a website can benefit any business. If you’ve realized this and started looking into it for yourself, the first decision you’ll need to make is whether to hire a professional to create a custom website for you, or to attempt to do it yourself. This initial decision will be one of the most important for your website, so here are some things to consider.

Choose your platform wisely.

You’ll find website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly to be a few popular options. They usually have a drag-and-drop type page editor and are typically easier to use than creating a WordPress site by yourself, but also a lot more limited and less powerful. For example, if you need a custom or on-brand feature on your website (such as a specific way to set up your navigation, a blog, a responsive website that works seamlessly on mobile and tablet, newsletter signup, or just brand cohesiveness in general), it might not be possible with a website builder. Make sure you research and put a lot of thought into the website builder you decide to use.

Your skill level matters.

In my opinion, WordPress is the best platform out there right now. It’s extremely customizable and flexible. It’s also the most used CMS editor on the internet, accounting for 64% of the CMS market. The downside is that if you’re going the DIY route and trying to do it all yourself, you’ll need a higher skill level and will probably need to be familiar with web hosting and HTML, even if you use a template.

Website builders are generally pretty intuitive (although can be extremely frustrating if you’re detail-oriented) and will allow you to build websites without a high technical skill level. You will, however, need to know a bit about design. If you’re doing it yourself, then I highly recommend taking a basic design course. Your website design will determine a customer’s impression of you, help nurture your leads, help you attain more conversions, and provide a good user experience so users will keep coming back.

Did you know?

It takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not, whether they’ll stay or leave.

Getting your website developed professionally allows you to have a low skill level because your web developer will connect the code they write to your content management system (such as WordPress) to make it as simple as possible for you. This will allow you to change images and content very easily while maintaining a beautiful and professional look.

Your business is unique.

Your fonts, colors, image selection, and design styles are unique to your business. A custom website allows your designer and developer to nail down every detail involved in your website such as a strategy-lead structure, user experience, mobile and tablet design, fonts, animations, and more. This positions your brand exactly how you want it to be seen.

It will take a lot of time.

Whatever amount of time you think it will take to DIY your website, it’ll probably take more. If you have more time than money available, then this route might be exactly what you need. However, this can take time away from what you’re actually passionate about and good at; your business. Although it might seem like creating your website yourself is saving you money, the downside is that you’re losing precious time.

Hidden fees can sneak up on you.

While website builders may seem cheaper initially and may even offer free plans, they often come with hidden fees such as transaction fees, limits on bandwidth or storage, and even mandatory ads on your site. Additionally, if you need to add custom or on-brand features to your site, you may need to upgrade to a more expensive plan or even switch to a different website builder altogether. With custom website design, you have more control over the features and functionality of your site, and you can avoid unexpected fees or limitations. While the initial cost of custom website design may be higher, it can save you money in the long run by providing a more effective and efficient solution for your business needs.

In conclusion, deciding whether to buy or DIY your website is a big decision that requires careful consideration. While website builders are an affordable and easy-to-use option, they come with limitations and hidden fees that can add up over time. Custom website design may require a higher initial cost, but it allows for more control and flexibility in the long run. Ultimately, the decision should be based on your unique business needs and goals. Whatever you choose, remember that your website is an important reflection of your brand and should be designed with care and attention to detail.